This is a story on the study done by the *Williams Institute. Instead of giving you my opinion on it I would like to expose you to the horse's saying sort of speak. It is written in an easily comprehensible way. I included the numbers of the points they are making. adamfoxie
Conversion therapy is treatment grounded in the belief that being LGBT is abnormal. It is intended to change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of LGBT people.
Conversion therapy is practiced by some licensed professionals in the context of providing health care and by some clergy or other spiritual advisors in the context of religious practice.
Efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity are associated with poor mental health,
To date, nine states, the District of Columbia, and 32 localities have banned health care professionals from using conversion therapy on youth. The Williams Institute estimates that:
698,000 LGBT adults (ages 18-59)
in the U.S. have received conversion therapy, including about 350,000 LGBT adults who received treatment as adolescents.
20,000 LGBT youth (ages 13-17) will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before they reach the age of 18 in the 41 states that currently do not ban the practice.
6,000 LGBT youth (ages 13-17) who live in states that ban conversion therapy would have received such therapy from a licensed health care professional before age 18 if their state had not banned the practice.
57,000 youth (ages 13-17) across all states will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors before they reach the age of 18.
Conversion therapy has been practiced in the U.S. for over a century. Academic literature has documented instances of conversion therapy being used as early as the 1890s and continuing through the present day.
Throughout the history of conversion therapy, a range of techniques have been used by both health care professionals and religious figures seeking to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, talk therapy is the most commonly used therapy technique.
Some practitioners have also used “aversion treatments, such as inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis; providing electric shocks; or having the individual snap an elastic band around the wrist when the individual became aroused to same-sex erotic images or thoughts.”
Other practitioners have used non-aversive techniques such as attempting to “change
CONVERSION THERAPY AND LGBT YOUTH
thought patterns by reframing desires, redirecting thoughts, or using hypnosis.”
An estimated 698,000 LGBT adults in the U.S have received conversion therapy either from a licensed professional or a religious advisor or from both at some point in their lives,
including about 350,000 LGBT adults who received conversion therapy as adolescents.
Professional Health Associations
A number of prominent national professional health associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others—have issued public statements opposing the use of conversion therapy because it is harmful and ineffective.
Several of these associations have called on Congress and state legislatures to pass laws that ban conversion therapy. For example, the CEO of the American Counseling Association (ACA) submitted testimony to the Illinois House and Senate in support of the state’s conversion therapy ban bill in 2015.
In addition, ACA members sent 79 letters to the Governor and 84 letters to state legislators in support of the bill.
Also, several professional health associations have endorsed the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a federal bill that would prohibit the practice of conversion therapy, including the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Counseling Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Three recent public opinion polls found majority support for ending the use of conversion therapy on youth. A 2017 Gravis Marketing poll found that 71% of Florida residents believed that the use of conversion therapy on youth should be illegal.
A 2016 Gravis Marketing poll similarly found that 64% of Virginia residents believed that the use of conversion therapy on youth should be illegal.
Another 2016 poll conducted by the Center for Civil Policy similarly found that 60% of New Mexico respondents supported a legal ban on the use of conversion therapy on youth.
Polling also indicates that many people do not think conversion therapy is effective; only 8% of respondents to a 2014 national poll said they thought conversion therapy could change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight.
Conversion Therapy by Licensed Health Care Professionals
As of January 2018, nine states and the District of Columbia had passed statutes limiting the use of conversion therapy: California, Connecticut, D.C., Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The laws protect youth under age 18 from receiving conversion therapy from licensed mental health care
providers and, in some states, other individuals who perform conversion therapy services in exchange for payment.
California was the first state to pass a conversion therapy ban in
CONVERSION THERAPY AND LGBT YOUTH
Four states—Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island—passed bans in 2017.
While more limited in reach than the statutory bans, a gubernatorial executive order in New York prohibits the state’s Medicaid program and private health insurers from providing coverage for conversion therapy on youth and prohibits facilities under the State Division of Mental Health from performing conversion therapy on youth.
In addition, 32 localities in states without statewide bans have passed bans at the local level,
over half (19) of these localities are in Florida.
All of the state statutory bans allow licensing entities to discipline health care providers who use conversion therapy on youth under age 18.
Under Connecticut and Illinois laws, the use of conversion therapy on youth is also considered an unfair business practice and the laws allow for enforcement and penalties consistent with other state laws against such practices.
In addition, in 2015, a New Jersey court held that providing conversion therapy in exchange for payment constitutes a fraudulent business practice, regardless of whether it is used on youth or adults.
An estimated 20,000 LGBT youth (ages 13-17) will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before they reach the age of 18 in the 41 states that currently do not ban the practice, unless additional states pass conversion therapy bans.
An estimated 6,000 LGBT youth (ages 13-17) who live in states with conversion therapy bans would have received such therapy from a licensed health care professional before age 18 if their state had not banned the practice.
More states are expected to consider conversion therapy bans in 2018.
In addition, members of Congress have introduced federal legislation aimed at ending conversion therapy. The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act,
introduced in both the House and Senate in 2017, would classify conversion therapy provided in exchange for payment as a form of consumer fraud.
The law would allow state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission to bring enforcement actions against individuals who are providing conversion therapy for payment or advertising such services.
Conversion Therapy by Religious and Spiritual Advisors
The state statutory conversion therapy bans apply to licensed mental health care providers and sometimes to any others who seek to provide conversion therapy in exchange for payment.
The laws generally do not apply to religious or spiritual advisors who engage in sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts within their pastoral or religious capacity. In most states with bans (California, D.C., Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont
this means that any individuals (including licensed professionals) may engage in conversion therapy as long as they are acting as clergy or religious counselors and they do not hold themselves out as acting pursuant to a professional license. In states with bans on providing conversion therapy in exchange for payment (Connecticut, Illinois, and New Jersey
religious or spiritual advisors acting in a pastoral or religious capacity may continue to provide conversion therapy as long as they are not acting pursuant to a professional license and they do not accept payment for their services. These exclusions for therapy provided by religious or spiritual advisors leave many youth vulnerable to conversion counseling even in states with bans. An estimated 57,000 youth (ages 13-17) across all states will receive conversion therapy from religious or spiritual advisors before they reach the age of 18.
*The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy at UCLA School of Law advance law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates its work through a variety of education programs and media to judges, legislators, lawyers, other policymakers and the public. These studies can be accessed at the Williams Institute website